Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am leaving for France and Scotland next Friday and I woke up this morning with the urge to pack. I really haven't thought too much about this trip other than make reservations, help my friends who are coming with me and talk to Lew and Barb about the different routes we will take. A couple of days ago I thought maybe I should check the weather. I did and it didn't look great, I checked again today and it looks a lot better.
Anyway today I just needed to pack, some kind of traveling instinct I guess. I didn't want to pack my suitcase as I will still be using lots of those items, so I packed my bike. I have a Ritchey Break-a-way and it goes into quite a small suitcase. So at 7am I am out there getting ready for my trip. Next week I will have 5 more bikes to pack so this was a good start.
When I pack my bike I think of the first time I used this bike. It was an unexpected trip to France. My good friend Kent Mills had booked a luxury tour to see the Tour de France with his boyhood friend Ric. But Kent the week before had decided to do some extensive yard work and he ruptured a disc. He had no trip insurance so after a few frantic phone calls and an offer to Susan he gave the trip to me. I had decided I was going to get a Break-a-way that fall so I put in a frantic call to Ritchey and got one on the way. It was going to get here on a Monday and I was leaving on an evening flight on Monday. I showed up around 1pm. I was at home franticly packing it, sending Kathy down to Sunnyside to get some parts I needed. I never even had a chance to ride it. Off to the airport to Portland where I had to spend the night. I got it out of the bag, out on the tape and took it for a test ride. It seemed OK.
The first ride on that bike was up to the Tourmalet, the most storied pass in the Pyrenees. It worked fine and on the downhill I was feeling like I had ridden this bike thousands of miles.
It has been like that ever since. I don't ride it much but when I do it feels like home.
Packing for me is not unpleasant. I usually do it early (my instinct I guess) and every time I pack my bike I relive all the wonderful trips and think about the wonderful friends I have traveled with. I will be writing my blog more often during this trip so you can follow our adventures. Enjoy.
One more thing. My friend Serena wrote a very nice blog about our friendship, you can read it here Run bike ski

Thursday, September 9, 2010


have been accused of not writing a blog for too long. The truth is I need something to say for me to write. August has been too busy for me to reflect on my life. In other words I have been doing and not thinking. August starts with the Oregon Bike Ride for me. That would be my last blog. Then before OBR was even done it was off to Serena and Ben's wedding in Opal Creek. Then it was back to work, riding my bike and starting to think about Cyclo Cross.
The thing that has really overwhelmed me this year are the three new places I have been this year. Those are Opal Creek, Iron and Cone Mountain and Jack Creek to Three Fingered Jack.
Central Oregon has been my home since 1969. I have hiked, ridden and driven to most of the really good spots in Oregon. I can't even begin to name them all but there are plenty. Some are so good I like returning year after year. That is where the problem lies. Since I return to my favorites every year I haven't been to some places that really should have not been ignored. So first it was off to Opal Creek for a wedding. Opal Creek is famous for the fight for it's existence in the 70's. I don't have all the particulars other than it was going to be logged and some very determined people fought it with everything from legal to protests. It was worth saving. Old growth trees, pools for swimming and hanging out just a perfect westside paradise. It was where Serena and Ben fell in love and it has become their special place.
Then Barb got us to go to Iron/Cone Mountain. This is one of the best wild flower viewing areas in Oregon. We have been meaning to get there for years, so this year we made it. Again why had we not been there? I can't answer that but now that we have made it we will return.
However the place that really made me wonder what have I been doing was the hike to Canyon Creek to the base of Three Fingered Jack. The truth is I am an eastsider. As beautiful and wonderful the trees and flowers are on the Westside, I like the desert and the openness of the eastside.
I can't even begin to describe the hike to Three Fingered Jack other than I was amazed at the beauty, the feeling and the intimate feeling of being so close to Three Fingered Jack. TFJ has always been the one Cascade mountain I had no affinity for. I have no logical reason for that. Now it is close to my favorite. I have very mixed feelings about getting there 40 years late. One is how could I not have been enjoying this jewell that is so close and the other is the wonder of having discovered it now.
The photos say it all for all three places. Thanks for reading.